THE LAST DAYS OF BRIGHAM.
THE TYRANNY AND SWINDLING OF THE MOR-MON AUTOCRAT—THE NEW SCHISM AND ITS LEADERS—CONSTITUTION OF THE NEW CHURCH OF ZION.
SALT LAKE CITY, Feb. 4—Brigham Young, the Mormon Pope, has been a very successful man in his day, but it begins to be a question whether his day is not about over. The Pacific Railroad is doing its work—that and public opinion. The rebellion is inaugurated. Much, too much success, has made Brigham, as it made Napo-leon, mad. His importunate self will has driven from Mm all men of independent mind and encompassed him with toadies. Two or three years ago he announced his own infallibility in so offensive and absolute terms as to startle a few of his most able and conscientious follow-ers. In so many words he declared it his province to dictate to the membership of his Church in all things, spiritual and temporal, even to the ribbons the women should wear. A year thereafter, at the Autumnal Conference, he inaugurated "coöpera-tive merchandizing," a scheme to enrich his toady aris-tocracy. The intention was to do all the trading of Utah through what they call a cooperative store and branches, with four-fifths of its stock owned by eleven of his most obsequious tools. All the thunders of the Church were employed to dragoon the people into this enterprise. No one could hold stock in it who had not paid Ms tithing, and the cash-till was tithed la its turn. This, in connec-tion with the Order of Enoch, which is urged upon the people without ceasing, was designed to draw the mate-rial wealth of Mormonism as fast as it should be cashed into Brigham's bag. You may remember another man who carried the bag. The original idea of the Order of Enoch was a highly developed partnership, the Order to judge of the qualifications for membership, and decide who should be admitted. The members to hold one equal share each, no matter whether they each contributed $100 or $10,000. But in Brigham's hands this has been perverted into a universal consecration to him as Trustee in Trust for the Church, by the entire membership, of all they possessed on earth, so that a man would be but a tenant at Brig-ham's will on his own land, and in his own house, and. in the arms of his own wife. This was too much for even Mormon human nature, and but little has been done to-ward establishing the Order of Enoch, except, perhaps, in the matter of administering the estates of those who "died in the Lord" into its hands.
BRIGHAM AS A RAILROAD MAN.
Along with these manifestations of Brigham's master passions, avarice and love of power, another nice little scheme has developed itself, as follows: He took a con-tract of the men who stole themselves rich in building the Pacific Railroad to construct 100 miles of that road One object of this was to have the fixing of the junction somewhere in his domain. He did n't want the Union Pacific to build on to Humboldt Wells, 200 miles west of the heart of Utah, nor did he want the Central Pacific to build to Green River, 200 miles east. By taking this con-tract he got the matter all in his own hands. It provoked all the regular white contractors, and enabled him to sour his own men by withholding their pay, and so retarded work on the Union Pacific. When the Central Pacific approached this valley he could take no work for them, but had some tools handy to do it for him. Three of his Northern Bishops, Benson, Farr, and West, two of whom it seems to have killed, took at his bidding a heavy contract for the Central Pacific, and thus King Brigham got con-trol of the meeting of the roads. He made them spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in doing useless paral-lel work. His own contract amounted to $2,500,000. He sub-let it to his slaves 10 per cent off, thus pocketing by the operation $250,000. Not satisfied with this, he stopped a million or so of the pay in gross as it was running through his hands, and with it built the Utah Central Railroad. He now proposes to the men to whom this money belonged to take their pay in 20-year bonds, hy-pothecated on the road. They could as well lift them-selves by the straps of their own boots. But they will take the bonds, doubtless, as his power is like that of doom, and then he will sell the road to the Central Pa-cific for a million or two in cash, pocket the money, and most of his people will admire him all the more for it.
THE NEW LEADERS—REVOLUTIONARY LITERATURE.
William S. Godbe is, perhaps, the Luther of the present Reformation, "the Lucifer of this revolt," the Brigham-ites say. With him has been so intimately associated E. L. T. Harrison that the twain seem nearly one flesh. The other leaders are Eli B. Kelsey, W. H. Shearman, and Henry W. Lawrence, all warm and long time friends of Godbe's, drawn to him first, perhaps, by some affinity of spirit, which may explain their falling into the same groove at so important a crisis. Godbe is of English birth, 35 to 40 years old, 20 years a Mormon, small in stat-ure, but of sturdy build, with a countenance nowise striking, kindly and rather old for his years. Perhaps that is the effect of care, however. He cams to Utah quite a lad, without money or friends, working into the drug business, built himself up to be worth $250,000, and to as high standing as a business man and gentleman as any one in the Territory. He was one of Brigham's stanchest supporters, and Brigham used him. He has given to the poor and paid in tithing not less than $50,000. Of late, things have gone somewhat against him, yet ho is regarded as worth $125,000 now.
The coöperative trade movement would have built him up a fortune to which his former gains were insignificant, for he had the only Mormon drug store in the country, and would have had the entire influence of the church. When ho was excommunicated, the Church bought up the Gentile drug store and withdrew its patronage from him as much as it could. He was President of a quorum of the Seventies (the fourth quorum in the Church), First Counselor to the Bishop of his Ward, and member of the City Council, when cut off. He has four wives, and is the father of 17 children, five of whom are deceased. His fourth wife was Charlotte Cobb, of whom ' you may have heard, long considered the belle of Utah. Her mother was seduced into Mormonism years ago from one of the first circles of Boston society, and became the 30th or 40th wife of Brigham, When cut off, Godbe told his women that they could each have a divorce if they wanted it, and he would divide his property pro rata among them. They replied that they would die before they would leave him. (So I am told.)
There is, or was, no more popular man in the Territory on his individual merits; he is genial in disposition, high-minded and fionorabe, liberal and tolerant, a gen-tleman in bearing and by nature, a good business man, a fair talker, honest, earnest, fearless, firm, and kind-hearted. At present he is chiefly engaged in traveling in the Territory and preaching.
E. L. T. HARRISON.
E. L. T. Harrison, Godbe's twin brother in the “move-ment," as they call it, is also an Englishman by birth; small, of bilious temperament, black hair and eyes, nervous, positive and full of electricity, of a literary turn, and given to writing, self-made, a fair thinker, a logical and fluent speaker, of an impressible, impulsive nature. An architect by profession, he designed the in-terior arrangements and decorations of the theater, and planned several of the best buildings in the city; he is not wealthy, is 40 years old, and 25 years a Mormon, 15 of which were spent as a missionary in the British Isles. He came to Utah five or six years ago, and at the time of his excommunication was President of a quorum of the Seventies. He has been married twice, but was never a polygamist in practice. His last wife died while his trial was pending, and he, was cut off the Church within 12 hours of her burial.
It was in 1867 that he and T; B. H. Stenhouse, proprie-tor and editor of The Telegraph, first thought of starting The Utah, Magazine. Stenhouse faltered and hesitated, as he always does, until Harrison tired of him and started, it alone. Godbe assisted him some at the time, they both thinking it might prove profitable financially. It dragged along for a year, when Godbe took hold of it in earnest, knowing what was before him, and feeling that he and Harrison and two or three other personal friends were really representative men of a large ele-ment in the Church—perhaps one-half of the member-ship. I think this was after Godbe and Harrison had met in. New-York, and together received, as they sup-pose, heavenly direction as to the, work before them.
The tone of the magazine constantly grew more liberal until after the completion of the Pacific Railroad; last May. With the stream of distinguished people that of travel poured through the city, and the great changes it necessitated, and with the new corps of Federal officers sent out by Gen, Grant, who, for the first time since the organization of Utah, were unitedly in favor of Uncle Sam as against Brigham Young, the magazine became quite outspoken in its opposition to Brigham's general policy. It advocated freedom of thought and speech, and claimed the right to discuss all questions of public interest. Its articles on "Our Workmen's Wages," "The True Development of the Territory," "A Real Rep-resentative of the Most High," and "We are Nothing if Not Spiritual," gave great offense to Brigham. He had once or twice adivised Godbe to draw of it on financial grounds—the old fox knew it would collapse deprived of Godbe's cash—but on the 16th or last October he made a violent onslaught upon its proprietors in the School of the Prophets. After a, to him, unexpectedly stormy time, the question was adjourned to the High Council of the State, and on the 25th Godbe and Harrison were formally cut off from the Church for opposing the measures and policy of Brigham Young. Eli B. Kelsey defended them at the trial and voted against their expulson from Church, for which he was himself subsequently expelled. Henry W. Lawrence joined Kelsey in defense of his friend, but he is worth $250,000, and they hesitated a little about cat- ting this sum off from the church. They did, however, finally. The Magazine, with a circulation of 1,400, was suspended, and on Jan, 1, 1870, The Mormon Tribune, a handsomely-printed and well-written eight-page paper, nearly as large as THE NEW-YORK TRIBUNE, was started as the organ of the rebellion—Godbe and Harrison, pub-lishers and editors. Its circulation in the Territory is now 100 greater than that of The Magazine, and it is read by five times as many. This with Brighamites in all the post-offices, and most of the country so intensely devoted to Brigham that a Godbeite would be killed and eaten in it before he knew it. Harrison is senior editor, writes much, and travels and preaches a good deal.
THE REFORMERS TAKE THE FIELD.
About the middle of December they held their first public meeting, and began explaining, orally, their posi-tion, their authority for taking it, and discussing with the Brighamites, who were nothing loth, the points of difference between them. At first they were indebted to the Brighamites for a hall, (Godbe had given $3,000 toward building it), now they have a place of their own, furnished by Walker Bros., leading Gentile merchants, whose parents were Mormons, however, capable of seat-ing nearly a thousand. It is always crowded. The dis-cussions were not joint, but one side was represented in the morning, the other in the evening. After talking a month or so, on the 24th of January they organized their "movement" as far as they could, naming it "The Church of Zion," and presenting a constitution, which is to be held subject to amendment until the 6th of April, and then ratified. Its general principles they claim to have been given by revelation, the details only to have been filled in by them. It differs from the Brighamite Church in that it substitutes love for the knife as a means of grace; it divorces Church and State; it takes the purse out of the hands of the King; it substitutes toleration for proscription; it votes by clear ballot instead of viva voce, or worse, both sexes voting; it tithes the net instead of the gross income; it does not disfellowship for difference of opinion so long as the initiatory ordinances of the gospel and tins constitution are accepted; it makes all officers responsible to the people for the proper dis-charge of their duties; it makes the Priesthood education-ally merely, and with no authority except such as rests upon the love and consent of the people; it creates Boards of Trustees and Auditors to direct the disbursing of the tithing, and compels them to account rigidly and statedly to the people as to such disbursement. Most of it is to be expended in the Wards where collected, only the surplus to be sent to the central fund. Now it is sent from the ends of the laud to Brigham Young, who, as they say here, "accounts for it to nobody, and divides nothing with nobody." "Force," they say, "is not in the policy of God. There is no benefit in obedience unless it comes spontaneously from the heart." This is as far from Brighamism as north from south. It may be called the front end of a truth.
The preamble declares the Church of Zion to be a branch of the Church of Zion Eternal in the Heavens, and says the chief object in its establishment on earth is the enjoyment of direct and constant communication between the immortal worlds, whatever they may be, and ours, so that we may do as they do, I suppose. The First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles are to be designated in all cases by revelation. The reason of this is that they are required to be inspirational men, through whom the Heavenly world can speak. All other officers are to be chosen by the people. Still, these last may be revealed if God so wills, and the first must be acceptable to the people or they cannot reign; the Heavens must wait a more auspicious time. It is painful to see men sane on most subjects play the fool like this. To such absurdities shall we be treated, however, while men persist in trying to harmonize the crude supersti-tions of past ages with the hard common sense of this democracy, and the divine right of kings and priests cannot be made to dovetail nor agree, and those who try it only make themselves ridiculous.
THE CHURCH OF ZION.
The Constitution was adopted Unanimously, and the Church of Zion declared organized. Godbe and Harrison were then elected by acclamation councilors of the future President of the new Church, who, it was re-marked, thousands would know by inspiration before he came to be the right man. Kelsey was elected one of the Twelve, and Lawrence one of the Trustees for the Church at large. These appointments were provisory only, it being held that the people were not sufficiently acquainted with each other to elect the men best fitted for office.
Two hundred and fifty have taken their lives in their hands and given in their names, and it is supposed that this is about one-fourth of those in this city who have consented in their hearts to the revolution. It is believed by those who ought to know that one-third of the Church actively sympathize with them. An organization was effected in Ogden yesterday, and one will be made this week in Lovele. As fast as it is sale the work will be ex-tended. At present Brigham has the entire institution, man by man, tied up by the teeth. He holds the bag. He goes South soon for a three months' stay, and when he comes back and Spring shall have opened, it is pos-sible that he may not find many friends left Mm in his capital.
The main points of difference between the Orthodox Mormons and the Reformers are indicated above, with the exception of the all-important one of polygamy. On that they take the same ground, with this difference: That while the Brighamits declare their intention to contend for it at all events, and against all comers, and by force if they must, the Godbeites will only do so in a peaceful, constitutional way. They say they do not believe the American people object to Mormon polygamy as much as they do to Mormon disloyalty, and instance the tolera-tion of the Oneida Free Lovers by New-York as proof. They seem to forget that in their case polygamy and dis-loyalty are synonymous terms. They want Government assistance, but they want it to stop after reforming their jury system—that is to say, taking it out of the hands of Brigham's Probate Judges and putting it in those of the United States Court.
It would be well perhaps not to expect much from the schism unless it shall be aided largely by the Govern-ment. The latter must fell the forest and exterminate the wild animals, or the former will not till and improve the soil. All possible power in Utah at present is in the hands of Brigham; the government of the Territory is one vast inquisitorial machine, used mercilessly by him for the suppression of apostates. Unless he is check-mated by Congress and Gen. Grant, these poor half-crazed schismatics, with their spiritualism and univer-salism, their love, and toleration, and charity for all and everything, their discarding of force, will simply be broken to pieces against the hard materialism and con-solidated power of Brigham Young.
Click tabs to swap between content that is broken into logical sections.